As countries go into lockdown, markets plummet and unemployment begins to rise it’s easy to start feeling gloomy and helpless. The survival ‘trick’, if I can use that word, is to focus on the things in your life you CAN still control and by doing so you will help us all to get through this difficult time.
For example there was a note in my mailbox from my next door neighbour yesterday inviting me to join a phone , txt and whatsapp group she has set up for our street. If one of us develops a health problem we will have a network of nearby people we can contact to get help without having to leave the house. What a simple practical idea.
There’s a lot we can do to help ourselves and others simply by following the advice of our public health officials.
While there is much we do not know about the Covid -19 virus we do know that it spreads mainly from person -to -person contact so when you do go shopping for groceries, for example, try to keep a couple of metres away from other people.
Speaking of groceries – please do not panic buy. There is plenty of food and supplies for everyone and panic buying just causes logistics problems we really don’t need.. If some shelves are currently empty it’s because sudden demand has simply exceeded supply and the store is awaiting delivery from the warehouses. It’s not because the food and produce does not exist it’s because the truck is on its way.
One of the best things we can all do is take sensible precautions It seems you can also get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes . So every time you return home wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds., Or use a hand sanitiser.
Also know the symptoms of this disease and what to do.
Some people who contract Cov-19 may be unaware they are carrying the disease because they have either mild or no symptoms. So its a good idea to call your elderly relative , friend or neighbour to check on them rather than turn up in person until this outbreak is over.
While it usually takes between 2 to 14 days for symptoms such as fever, cough ,fatigue , headache, shortness of breath to appear after your exposure to Cov -19 it could take longer.
If you have any of these symptoms you should call your GP for advice rather than immediately go to the clinic where you might spread the disease to others in the waiting room .
Try to contain your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Again, immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
After using dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, wash them thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher. Disinfect high-touch surfaces in other areas of the home including phones, remote controls, counters, table tops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
Routinely clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but not your bedroom and bathroom.
We are not powerless . There is much we can do to help ourselves and others to get through this tough time.
Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.